Best VPN Providers of 2022 | Our Top 5

Last edited: 3 Jun 2022
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Best VPN Providers of 2022 – Our Top 5: Summary

After extensive testing of dozens of popular VPN services, our top five VPNs are as follows:

Bear in mind that, the best choice of VPN depends a lot on your usage and needs. However, our top five offer the best features for almost any user. They ensure you can:

  • Browse anonymously using secure servers
  • Stream Netflix and other content from almost anywhere in the world
  • Download torrents with high speed
  • Protect your personal data

The VPN services we have chosen are compatible with almost all devices and operating systems, namely Mac, Windows, Android, iOS (iPhone), and even Linux. This allows you to secure all your internet traffic with one VPN subscription.

If you prefer a free VPN, here are our top recommendations:

However, note that free VPN services often come with limitations in terms of features and security provided. It’s highly advisable to invest in your security with a premium VPN, like NordVPN:

Read our full article below for everything you need to know about the best VPN providers and how to choose the right one for you.

What is the best VPN (Virtual Private Network) provider? That’s a tough question to answer given the sheer number of options available to us. To help you find your way through the VPN jungle, we’ve compiled a list of the best VPN providers of 2022.

All the VPNs in our top 5 list work with Netflix, allow torrenting/P2P traffic, support the safest encryption protocols, are compatible with all major operating systems, and have headquarters in countries that have beneficial privacy regulations.

Best VPNThese providers all meet the highest privacy and security standards and are reliable services with great reputations.

Each VPN service on this list offers a unique deal with its own set of advantages. While compiling our top 5, we closely studied the following factors:

  • Security & reliability
  • Privacy & logging
  • Number of servers
  • Cost
  • Speed
  • User-friendliness
  • Customer support

As providers occasionally change their policies, server availability, price, or features, we continually update our top 5 VPN providers as well as our top 3 free VPNs, which you’ll also find below.

Want to learn more about these specific providers and other VPNs we’ve tested? Check out our VPN review page.

Best VPN Discount Deals Currently Available (May 2022)

VPN providers regularly offer special discounts on their packages. Each month, we look at the most attractive discount deals among the best VPNs. Currently, there are some great deals available at NordVPN and Surfshark, among others.

1. NordVPN special deal

Perhaps the most competitive deal of this moment can be found at NordVPN. You can try out this top VPN with 70% off, for just $3.49 per month. Click here to claim this discount. There is a countdown timer involved, so you will need to claim it before the countdown expires!

2. Surfshark special offer

Surfshark also has a sharp offer for you. You can try this VPN for just $2.30 per month, making it one of the cheapest premium VPNs around. Click here to take advantage of that 82% discount.

Comparison Table with the Best VPN Services

Looking for a quick overview of how our top 5 VPNs stack up against one another? Explore their essential features in the table below. Keep scrolling down for an in-depth comparison of these VPN providers.

VPNnordvpn logo small

NordVPN

surfshark logo small

Surfshark

ExpressVPN logo small

ExpressVPN

cyberghost logo small

CyberGhost

Score9.3 / 109.0 / 108.9 / 108.8 / 10
Servers5100+ servers across 60 countries3200+ servers across 65 countries3000+ servers across 94 countries6800+ servers across 90 countries
Torrents/ P2P allowed?YesYesYesYes
Works with Netflix USA?YesYesYesYes
Simultaneous connections6Unlimited57
Works withWindows, Mac, Android, iOS, LinuxWindows, Mac, Android, iOS, LinuxWindows, Mac, Android, iOS, LinuxWindows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux
VPN-ProtocolsOpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec, NordLynx (WireGuard)OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuardOpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPsec, LightwayOpenVPN, IKEv2, Wireguard
Logging policyNo logsNo logsNo logsNo logs
Price (from)$3.99 per month$2.30 per month$6.67 per month$2.29 per month
Money-back-guarantee30 days30 days30 days45 days
WebsiteVisit NordVPNVisit SurfsharkVisit ExpressVPNVisit CyberGhost

What is the Best VPN in 2022?

  1. NordVPN: The best VPN overall
  2. Surfshark: The VPN with the best bang for your buck
  3. ExpressVPN: The best VPN when money isn’t an issue
  4. CyberGhost: Good VPN with the most extensive money-back-guarantee
  5. Private Internet Access: Great VPN with the largest server network

The best VPN right now is NordVPN. Other services that deserve a place among our top 5 best VPN providers are Surfshark, ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and PIA. Each VPN has its own unique advantages, such as specialized servers or high levels of encryption. We’ll shortly explain why each of these VPNs performed so well in our vigorous tests.


NordVPN Banner

1. NordVPN

NordVPN is the best VPN of 2022 and provides the best security a VPN can offer at a very reasonable price.

  • Fantastic security options with double encryption technology
  • Visually striking and intuitive application
  • Online safety for up to six devices at once
  • 30-day money-back guarantee on all subscriptions
  • Very competitively priced if you sign up for longer than a year

Specifications NordVPN
Operating systems
  • Windows
  • ,
  • Mac
  • ,
  • iOS
  • ,
  • Android
  • ,
  • Linux
Simultaneous connections
  • 6
Torrents
  • Torrenting allowed
Netflix
  • Works with Netflix
Logs policy
  • Zero logs
Protocols
  • OpenVPN
  • ,
  • IKEv2
  • ,
  • Wireguard
Payment methods
  • Other
  • ,
  • Credit card
  • ,
  • Cryptocurrency
Money-back guarantee
  • Yes

Why should you choose NordVPN?

NordVPN is an extremely reliable VPN provider with an extensive global server network (5,100+ servers in 60 countries), military-grade encryption, and competitive prices. It’s no wonder that Google Trends has listed NordVPN as the most-used VPN in the world.

Is NordVPN suitable for streaming and downloading torrents?

NordVPN allows you to download torrents anonymously through dedicated P2P servers. These are easily accessible in the NordVPN apps.

NordVPN is one of the best VPN services for Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Netflix. With Nord, you can watch American Netflix from anywhere in the world. Their special feature called SmartPlay allows you to unblock Netflix US from random servers (even non-US ones). This way, you’ll always have access to the largest selection of movies and TV shows on Netflix.

What operating systems and devices are compatible with NordVPN?

One NordVPN account allows you to secure up to six devices at the same time. The most popular supported platforms include Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, and Linux.

You can also use NordVPN with Android TV, gaming consoles, Amazon Firestick, Kindle Fire, Raspberry Pi, and many other devices. Lastly, you can install NordVPN on your browser as an extension (Chrome, Firefox, Edge).

Safety and privacy

Is your online privacy important to you? Then you’re in the right place with NordVPN. A security incident on one of NordVPN’s servers in Finland in 2018 showed that NordVPN takes the safety of its customers very seriously. NordVPN has since undergone multiple security audits by independent auditors and has taken all the necessary measures to boost its security even further. Thus, NordVPN is an excellent choice if you want a VPN with bulletproof privacy and security.

NordVPN uses the OpenVPN protocol, which is known for its solid privacy and reliability. At the moment, this open-source protocol is seen as the golden standard in encryption for VPN connections. Moreover, they offer a unique protocol called NordLynx. It’s a fast and safe tunnel based on WireGuard, which is bound to eventually replace OpenVPN as the standard.

We tested NordVPN for DNS leaks and couldn’t find anything. This is always a huge plus in our book.

Customer support

The NordVPN customer support has a great live chat function. Their support team is also available through email.

The support team is quick to respond, but the quality of customer support can vary. Not every employee is as well-informed about the latest developments. We suspect this has something to do with the enormous growth of the company in the last couple of years.

Room for improvement

One thing we didn’t like about NordVPN is that every log-in attempt redirects you to your browser. This is not very user-friendly and can have consequences for your privacy. Your browser doesn’t need to know that you’re using NordVPN, right?

NordVPN final verdict: 9.3

NordVPN logo smallNordVPN is still at the top of the VPN market, despite some vulnerabilities in the past. In fact, NordVPN is currently the largest VPN provider in the world. The company has invested heavily in the past year to prove that user safety is guaranteed. It’s a top-notch VPN with good software, which offers a lot of possibilities.

NordVPN offers plenty of advanced security features. Many VPN beginners won’t even need these. Nevertheless, NordVPN remains accessible to all users, regardless of technical skills.

NordVPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee. This means you can use NordVPN risk-free for a trial period of about a month to determine whether you’re as satisfied with the service as we are.

Visit the NordVPN website: https://nordvpn.com/


Surfshark Banner

2. Surfshark

Surfshark is a lightning-fast VPN with an excellent price-to-value ratio.

  • Excellent value for money
  • A straightforward, user-friendly application
  • No device limit: secure as many devices as you want at the same time
  • Works with different versions of Netflix
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Specifications Surfshark
Operating systems
  • Windows
  • ,
  • Mac
  • ,
  • iOS
  • ,
  • Android
  • ,
  • Linux
Simultaneous connections
  • Unlimited
Torrents
  • Torrenting allowed
Netflix
  • Works with Netflix
Logs policy
  • Zero logs
Protocols
  • OpenVPN
  • ,
  • IKEv2
  • ,
  • Wireguard
Payment methods
  • Paypal
  • ,
  • Other
  • ,
  • Credit card
  • ,
  • Cryptocurrency
Money-back guarantee
  • Yes

Why should you choose Surfshark?

Surfshark is a great and affordable VPN that quickly went from a newcomer to one of the best VPNs out there. With its low prices, user-friendly software, and strong security options, it offers a good and inexpensive alternative to other premium VPNs.

Is Surfshark suitable for streaming and downloading torrents?

Surfshark works great with Netflix and other streaming services. In fact, it gives access to the largest number of Netflix libraries. As we’re writing this, we are able to unlock no less than 30 regional versions of Netflix, including Netflix US.

Moreover, for those of us who like to download torrents, Surfshark allows you P2P traffic without sacrificing your security and anonymity.

What operating systems and devices are compatible with Surfshark?

Surfshark is the only provider in our top 5 that has no limit on the number of devices that can use one account simultaneously. This means you can use Surfshark with the whole family without having to worry about limitations.

What’s more, Surfshark works with all the biggest operating systems. They have native apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux and offer browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.

Safety and privacy

Surfshark’s double VPN allows you to send your data through two VPN servers at the same time, offering an extra layer of protection. For this reason, Surfshark is ideal if you want to surf the web anonymously.

With Surfshark you can choose from a list of different protocols, including OpenVPN, IKEv2, and WireGuard. The top-level encryption is guaranteed through the use of the unbreakable AES 256 cipher.

Customer support

Surfshark has one of the best customer support teams in the industry. This was the case from day one. They respond quickly to your questions and are well-informed and polite.

Room for improvement

Compared to competitors like NordVPN or CyberGhost, Surfshark has a smaller set of servers. With Surfshark you can choose from about 3200+ servers in 65+ countries. Surfshark is still relatively new, so its server network is bound to grow in the coming years.

Moreover, we noticed big speed discrepancies between different servers. Ideally, all their servers would offer the same standard of speed for your convenience.

Surfshark final verdict: 9.0

surfshark logo smallSurfshark truly offers great value for the money. Even after having been active as a provider for a couple of years, they manage to keep up their level of success. Just like NordVPN and ExpressVPN, Surfshark has managed to maintain its quality, despite its increased server load. If you want a premium VPN for a very low price, with great levels of encryption and a lot of options, Surfshark is the way to go.

If you’d like to, you can use their money-back guarantee as a free trial period.

Visit the Surfshark website: https://surfshark.com/


ExpressVPN logo Banner

3. ExpressVPN

One of the best VPNs when money isn’t an issue. This premium VPN service is beginner-friendly, fast, and secure.

  • Easy-to-use apps for all your devices and operating systems
  • Ideal for secure and anonymous surfing, streaming, and downloading
  • Fast, stable connections
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Get 3 months for free with a yearly subscription (through the links on our website)

Specifications ExpressVPN
Operating systems
  • Windows
  • ,
  • Mac
  • ,
  • iOS
  • ,
  • Android
  • ,
  • Linux
Simultaneous connections
  • 5
Torrents
  • Torrenting allowed
Netflix
  • Works with Netflix
Logs policy
  • Zero logs
Protocols
  • OpenVPN
  • ,
  • IKEv2
  • ,
  • L2TP/IPsec
  • ,
  • Lightway
Payment methods
  • Paypal
  • ,
  • Other
  • ,
  • Credit card
  • ,
  • Cryptocurrency
Money-back guarantee
  • Yes

Why should you choose ExpressVPN?

ExpressVPN is one of the largest and most popular VPN providers in the world. This service offers almost everything you could wish for from a VPN.

You’ll have access to a vast VPN server network of 3000 stable servers in 94 countries. This service also dishes out some decent speeds, as shown in our speed test results.

Is ExpressVPN suitable for streaming and downloading torrents?

ExpressVPN allows you to download anonymously via torrent networks. We tested this with different P2P applications, like uTorrent and BitTorrent. This always worked very well.

In addition, you can access all kinds of streaming services worldwide. This means that you’ll always be able to enjoy American Netflix outside of the US, as well as other streaming services, such as Disney Plus and Hulu.

What operating systems and devices are compatible with ExpressVPN?

You can use your ExpressVPN subscription on up to five devices at the same time. It offers simple and well-functioning applications for Android, Windows, iPhone, Mac, and Linux.

Moreover, if English isn’t your first language, ExpressVPN also offers its app in over ten other languages.

Safety and privacy

This provider offers top-notch security. ExpressVPN supports several protocols, including OpenVPN, IKEv2, and its own Lightway. With this provider, your data traffic is protected with 256-bit encryption.

ExpressVPN doesn’t keep any activity logs, which means your surfing behavior cannot be traced. The provider can keep some information about your app usage, but this doesn’t have serious implications for your privacy.

ExpressVPN works with so-called “diskless servers,” which means that even the provider itself cannot see your browsing history. For these reasons, this provider has built a good reputation over the years.

Customer support

ExpressVPN customer service has a 24/7 live chat function maintained by a quick and forthcoming support team. They can provide adequate answers to some basic questions but will struggle with more technical problems. If you prefer, you can also send an email

Room for improvement

ExpressVPN is relatively expensive compared to other providers on this list. Many people end up with NordVPN or Surfshark because they are similar in quality (or better) but cheaper.

A small problem you’ll encounter when using ExpressVPN on your smartphone is that the kill switch sometimes kicks in when you change networks. You don’t receive any notifications, which means your connection is lost without you knowing why. You won’t receive notifications from incoming emails, WhatsApp chats, and other social media, which can be quite annoying.

ExpressVPN also has to work on the expertise of its support team. As it stands, the operators will struggle with complicated problems you might have with ExpressVPN.

Good to know about ExpressVPN

There’s been a lot of commotion surrounding ExpressVPN in 2021. In September, they were acquired by Kape Technologies for almost $1 billion. Kape also owns VPNs like CyberGhost, PIA, and ZenMate.

In addition, there also was a disturbing event involving their CIO Daniel Gericke. He has been ordered by the US Department of Justice to pay a hefty fine for his involvement in Project Raven. Specifically, he was accused of performing hack attacks against American citizens and human rights activists on behalf of the UAE. He was not an ExpressVPN employee at the time.

Our team at VPNOverview is investigating the potential security repercussions of these developments. There currently is no definitive proof that the security of ExpressVPN has worsened.

ExpressVPN final verdict: 8.9

ExpressVPN logo smallExpressVPN is an easy-to-use VPN with many useful options and functions. This VPN service is perfect for people who want to surf, download, and stream anonymously (including Netflix). One of its main downsides is its hefty price tag, especially with a monthly subscription. The support team members are also out of their depth when it comes to resolving complicated technical issues.

Every subscription comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee that can be used as a trial period, so you can try ExpressVPN 100% risk-free.

Visit the ExpressVPN website: https://www.expressvpn.com/


CyberGhost-Review-Banner

4. CyberGhost

An excellent choice for your first VPN that includes a longer money-back guarantee.

Specifications CyberGhost
Operating systems
  • Windows
  • ,
  • Mac
  • ,
  • iOS
  • ,
  • Android
  • ,
  • Linux
Simultaneous connections
  • 7
Torrents
  • Torrenting allowed
Netflix
  • Works with Netflix
Logs policy
  • Zero logs
Protocols
  • OpenVPN
  • ,
  • IKEv2
  • ,
  • Wireguard
Payment methods
  • Paypal
  • ,
  • Other
  • ,
  • Credit card
  • ,
  • Cryptocurrency
Money-back guarantee
  • Yes

Why should you choose CyberGhost?

Are you looking for a good, cheap, and user-friendly VPN with a large server network? Then CyberGhost is the right VPN for you. This VPN has a wide range of servers (with over 6800 servers in 90 countries) combined with beginner-friendly apps. This winning combination makes CyberGhost one of the most popular providers on the market.

Is CyberGhost suitable for streaming and downloading torrents?

CyberGhost is a great VPN to use for all your streaming purposes. Apart from Netflix, CyberGhost also gives you worldwide access to streaming services such as Hulu, HBO Max, and BBC iPlayer, among many others. In fact, CyberGhost offers special streaming servers that are optimized for all these streaming platforms. This is very handy and a huge plus for movie and tv-show enthusiasts.

Their special P2P servers support downloading with BitTorrent and uTorrent, as well as other P2P tools. So, CyberGhost makes anonymous P2P downloads as easy as possible.

What operating systems and devices are compatible with CyberGhost?

You can connect to CyberGhost servers with up to seven different devices at the same time using just one account. This is especially useful when you’re looking for a VPN to use for your whole family. It’s even possible to request a dedicated IP address. This can help you avoid blacklisting by services like Netflix.

CyberGhost offers apps for Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, and Linux. This means you can use it to protect all your devices in just a few clicks.

Safety and privacy

CyberGhost offers solid protection with 256-bit AES encryption. As a user, you have different protocol options, including OpenVPN, IKEv2, and WireGuard.

CyberGhost does keep some anonymized logs about how often you use their app. This data is used to improve their software and user experience. Other than that they do not keep any logs.

Customer support

CyberGhost’s customer service is easy to reach through their 24/7 live chat. Their customer support is available in English, French, and German. Their website also has an extended database of guides and FAQs, if you’d rather go look for an answer yourself.

Room for improvement

You might be wondering how CyberGhost ended up in fourth place in our list of best VPN services. This is mostly due to security reasons. CyberGhost, for example, doesn’t work with diskless servers and doesn’t offer a double VPN option, while ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and Surfshark do. Similarly to ExpressVPN, their customer service sometimes lacks technical knowledge.

CyberGhost final verdict: 8.8

CyberGhost logo smallCyberGhost is a high-quality VPN offered at a competitive price. All this makes CyberGhost an excellent VPN for torrenting and Netflix. They have a large server network, located all over the world. While the extensive features of other providers landed CyberGhost in fourth place, this service remains an excellent option.

Would you like to try out CyberGhost? Take advantage of their 45-day trial period?

Visit the CyberGhost website: https://www.cyberghostvpn.com/


PIA Banner

5. Private Internet Access

PIA offers great security, competitive pricing, and the largest server network.

  • Strong focus on privacy and security
  • Excellent server network with fast connections (30,000+ servers)
  • Relatively cheap for the quality it provides
  • Many options for VPN power users

Specifications PIA
Operating systems
  • Windows
  • ,
  • Mac
  • ,
  • iOS
  • ,
  • Android
  • ,
  • Linux
Simultaneous connections
  • 10
Torrents
  • Torrenting allowed
Netflix
  • Works with Netflix
Logs policy
  • Zero logs
Protocols
  • OpenVPN
  • ,
  • Wireguard
  • ,
  • L2TP/IPsec
  • ,
  • PPTP
Payment methods
  • Paypal
  • ,
  • Other
  • ,
  • Credit card
  • ,
  • Cryptocurrency
Money-back guarantee
  • Yes

Why should you choose PIA?

Private Internet Access (PIA) is a VPN that consistently performs well. This provider focuses mainly on security and privacy. If you choose PIA, you can count on solid security and a large global network of VPN servers. In 2019, PIA was acquired by the company that also owns CyberGhost and ExpressVPN, so we might see some changes to their service in the coming years.

PIA is a good choice when you’re looking for a reliable, secure, and privacy-minded VPN that’s competitively priced. In fact, PIA is the most affordable VPN on this list. Experienced users will surely appreciate its extensive possibilities and security benefits.

Is PIA suitable for streaming and downloading torrents?

When it comes to securing your online freedom PIA is a good option. This VPN provider allows you to access a wide range of regional versions of Netflix. However, it primarily focuses on privacy and security. Therefore, Netflix won’t always work as consistently as with other VPNs on this list.

PIA is especially competent when it comes to maintaining your privacy. Of course, you can also download torrents safely and anonymously.

What operating systems and devices are compatible with PIA?

PIA software works on Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. Moreover, they offer browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. PIA doesn’t work on Chromebooks, since it officially doesn’t support ChromeOS.

Safety and privacy

As mentioned earlier, PIA puts great emphasis on online security and privacy. PIA works with different protocols, including OpenVPN and the new WireGuard. Furthermore, PIA has a strict no-logs policy, which means they won’t store any information that could put you in harm’s way.

PIA prevents potential data leaks with an automatic kill switch. Moreover, it can help you block ads, trackers, and malware with their PIA MACE function. This VPN provider is ideal for users who like to dive into the settings to make their internet connection as safe as possible.

Customer support

PIA doesn’t have the best customer support compared to other premium providers in this list. It only outclasses ExpressVPN. On their website, you can find an extended database with frequently asked questions and guides. If this doesn’t help you, you can also email their customer support. It might take a while for them to get back to you, but they do know how to help you. Sadly, PIA doesn’t have a live chat function for that instant fix.

Room for improvement

PIA is not the most accessible VPN out there. It doesn’t have a live chat and it’s not that beginner-friendly. The company could have put its enormous server network to work and provide its users with better performance, but, as it stands, PIA is the slowest VPN on this list. Still, being in the top 5 VPNs on the market is no small feat.

Private Internet Access final verdict: 8.5

PIA Private Internet Access IconWe like a bit of competition in the VPN market. It would worry us if all major VPN providers were owned by the same company. But even though CyberGhost, ExpressVPN, and PIA are now a part of the same company, they all still deserve a spot in our best VPN overview. Private Internet Access has been around for a long time and has built a good reputation. Hopefully, they will continue to innovate in the coming years.

Visit the PIA website: https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/


The 3 Best Free VPN Services

In addition to the premium VPNs mentioned above, there are also some decent free VPN providers. Of course, these free VPNs come with some restrictions, but some users can live with that. Our three favorite free VPN providers of the moment are ProtonVPN, Hide.me, and TunnelBear. You can also view our complete overview of good free VPNs and their options and limitations.

1. ProtonVPN (free)

ProtonVPN logo smallProtonVPN is currently one of the most widely used free VPN services in the world. In our view, ProtonVPN is currently the best VPN for people looking for a free service. The biggest advantage of ProtonVPN? No data limit! However, the number of servers for free users is very limited. That means that when there are a lot of ProtonVPN users online at the same time, this will put a strain on these servers. The result is that the speed can drop considerably. This can cause problems with streaming, gaming, and even browsing.

Fortunately, for a free VPN service, ProtonVPN is safe and easy to master. The ProtonVPN app is very intuitive and user-friendly. Besides the speed, we have few complaints about the free version of ProtonVPN. We also tested the paid version of ProtonVPN, which was also to our liking. The button below will take you to the free version of ProtonVPN.

Visit ProtonVPN

2. Hide.me (free)

Hide.meHide.me is another good free VPN that has been around for a long time. It offers great speeds for everyday use. The biggest downside to their free version is actually the data limit of 10GB. Hide.me is fine for checking your email or safe online banking, but torrents are blocked with the free version. Still Hide.me remains a great option if you want to try a VPN for free. However, be aware that streaming is difficult due to the data limit.

When you visit the Hide.me site, make sure to click “Pricing” in the menu. That way, the free package appears as an option.

Visit Hide.me

3. TunnelBear (free)

TunnelBearTunnelBear has a very user-friendly application with a nice interface. When you get started with TunnelBear, it’s all very intuitive. In addition to the user-friendliness, the free version has good server availability. Sadly, the free version of TunnelBear has a strict data limit, and downloading torrents and streaming Netflix isn’t possible. But for those who want to unlock more options, TunnelBear also has a decent paid VPN.

Visit TunnelBear


How to Choose a VPN Provider

There are many VPN providers out there that will try to get you to subscribe to them. Therefore, most people have considerable difficulty picking a good service. There are just so many to choose from, and they all claim they’re the best. To make things a bit easier, we’ve summed up some of the most important considerations we made when creating this list. You might want to take these into account when choosing a VPN for yourself as well.

Free VPN vs paid VPN

Many VPNs have paid subscriptions, but not all of them. Some won’t cost you any money. However, there’s no such thing as ‘free’ in the world (of VPNs). In other words, even the best free VPNs will cost you something, although not in the way you might expect. After all, companies want to make money, so they’ll have crafty revenue models hiding behind their free VPNs. Most of the time, these companies attempt to acquire your personal data as part of this revenue model – so they can use it for commercial purposes, for instance. Past studies of over 300 free VPN apps have shown that free VPN providers often request access to all kinds of unnecessary information, such as your contacts, media files, and social media handles. On top of that, the encryption and security features of many free services turned out to lack in quality and effectiveness. A substantial part of free VPN services (about 35%) even installs malware on your device, endangering your online safety. In other words, free VPNs can be very dangerous to you and your device.

Moreover, many free VPNs limit their users in all kinds of ways, including data limits, speed restrictions, download caps, ads, and long waiting times when connecting to a server. For that reason, it’s usually a better idea to choose a paid VPN. Over the last few years, the prices of these services have gone down considerably, as illustrated by newcomer Surfshark. For just a small price, you’ll have a fast, reliable, and high-quality VPN service for your whole family. If you’re looking for the best VPN services on the market, a free version will inevitably let you down.

Privacy and logging

VPN providers don’t all have to abide by the same laws and regulations. Some providers are obliged to keep certain logs on users’ activities or to limit or even prohibit certain types of online traffic (such as torrenting). Among other factors, the country in which a VPN’s head offices are situated determines the laws that a provider has to take into account. After all, local laws, rights, and obligations regarding the internet and privacy vary per country. As you may have suspected already, most VPN users wish to hide their online behavior. In these cases, mandatory logging of all user data makes a VPN pretty much useless.

Luckily not all VPN providers are obligated to follow such laws. NordVPN, for example, scores some extra points because they’re based in Panama, where the legislature benefits consumers and companies when it comes to internet privacy. NordVPN isn’t obligated to keep logs, whereas some providers in other countries are.

When it comes to logging, it’s important to consider exactly which information is being logged about you. None of the providers in our top 5 are obliged to keep any logs. We have made this a requirement to qualify for a place in our top 5 VPN providers of 2022. You can be sure that your online behavior and browsing history won’t be saved as long as you use their servers correctly.

Price

While compiling our top 5, we also asked ourselves: Is the price a VPN is asking reasonable considering their features? VPNs aren’t super expensive, but you still want to find the best deal. It’s important to check if you are getting value for money. We believe that a higher price doesn’t always equal better quality.

The general rule with most VPN providers is that the longer the subscription you choose, the cheaper the price per month. It’s therefore often smart to protect your devices with the same VPN for a longer period of time. As a result, it becomes even more important to choose the best VPN provider for your situation right from the start, if you really want to save money.

Compatibility with various devices and operating systems

Almost all VPN services we’ve tested offer multiple simultaneous connections. This means you can activate and use the VPN connection on multiple devices at the same time. Having this possibility is very useful. After all, you don’t want your phone to suddenly be unprotected the moment you turn on your VPN on your laptop. An extra factor to keep in mind, however, is the compatibility of the VPN you choose. Of course, it’d be convenient if your VPN actually works on all your different devices. When we made our selections for our top 5, we awarded extra points to VPN providers that work well with multiple operating systems, most importantly Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and even Linux when possible.

Servers

When assessing the different providers, we paid special attention to the server network and the number of servers every VPN provider had to offer. How many servers and server locations does a VPN provider offer? A server network with good coverage around the world is important for good connection speed, but also for ultimate freedom. If you want to view specific streaming services or unblock sites from a specific country, it is often necessary to connect to a VPN server from that specific country. That is why it is also important that all VPN providers have enough servers in the right places.

Security and reliability

It is generally a good sign if a VPN service offers multiple VPN protocols. This provides you with more options for unblocking and security. Though it’s also important to look at the quality of the protocol. Some VPN providers only focus on one or two protocols, but they make sure they’re the safest they can be. Others might opt for a wider variety of protocols, to aid with unblocking the internet in certain regions. We make sure to look at both of these aspects when determining whether a VPN is safe or not.

If a provider has a kill switch, it also earns extra points. If you have an activated kill switch, your internet activities will automatically be interrupted if the connection to the VPN server is lost. This means you never accidentally lose your secure connection without realizing it.

In addition, it is good to look at what exactly the company behind a VPN service does with your data. Can the company behind the VPN be trusted? In the past, some VPN providers have not been completely truthful about logging user data. That is why we pay close attention to this issue.

Netflix and torrents

Our ideal VPN provider allows you to download torrents safely. Furthermore, many people have other specific wishes. They might want to watch shows and movies on the American version of Netflix when they’re not in the USA (or while staying safe by using a VPN). For these people, we’ve prepared a useful step-by-step guide to help them get started with Netflix while using a VPN. A VPN provider gets extra points when they work with Netflix and other streaming sites such as BBC iPlayer.

Speed

We check the speed of every VPN we test. We connect to different servers and do speed tests to see if there is a decrease in speed. There is always a risk of speed loss, but with a good VPN provider with good servers, you will not notice this. But there are also VPN services where you sacrifice 80% of your internet speed, which is very frustrating.

Especially free VPN providers often limit the speed of your connection. Fortunately, this is usually not the case with paid VPN services. In any case, our ideal VPN provider has no data limits or speed limits.

User-friendliness and customer support

How easy is the VPN to install and set up? Is the information on the website of the VPN provider easy to understand? VPNoverview.com tests the apps of every VPN provider on various devices and operating systems. It is important that everything works intuitively and easily, even for inexperienced users.

The user-friendliness and quality of customer support are also important. If you can’t quite figure it out with your VPN, it is very nice that you can turn to customer service. We, therefore, approach the customer support of every VPN we test. We look at how quickly and adequately they help us with our questions. We also check what kind of support they have: will you have to wait days for an email to arrive or do they provide a 24/7 live chat?

What is a Virtual Private Network?

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a secure connection between you and the internet. If you use a VPN, you’ll be able to surf the web much more anonymously and safely. It works just like any other piece of software, you download a program and turn it on when you need it. The VPN will create an encrypted tunnel between your device and the internet, meaning it’ll be much harder for strangers to find out who you are and what you’re doing online.

Why would you need a VPN?

VPN shieldYou might be wondering why you’d bother using a VPN at all. Isn’t going online without a VPN just as good? Not quite. When you browse the internet without the protection of a VPN, you’re unknowingly leaving behind many virtual traces of personal information. Your internet service provider (ISP), for example, can see exactly which websites you visit and what data you transfer and receive on your smartphone, tablet, computer, or other devices. The IP address you have been assigned by your ISP allows companies, governments, marketing agencies, websites, and hackers to track you. People using the same (Wi-Fi) network as you are often also able to see which websites you’ve visited. Your location, browsing habits, and browser history can all be traced by others.

Using a VPN makes it much harder for intelligence services, websites you visit, Google, Facebook, your ISP, your housemates, your employer, and other parties to keep track of your online activities. The VPN encrypts your internet traffic and masks it for these external parties.

A VPN service also provides additional protection against cybercriminals who are looking to steal your data or get access to personal information, such as your bank transactions or emails. If you use a VPN, you’ll be more anonymous on public Wi-Fi as well.

More freedom with a VPN

Aside from added online security and privacy, a VPN can also give you increased internet freedom. Sometimes certain (parts of) websites are only accessible when you’re in a specific country, such as different news platforms and content on services like Spotify, YouTube, and Netflix. With a good VPN, like one of the providers in our top 5 best VPNs listed above, you’ll get access to these websites and services regardless of where you are in the world.

A VPN service allows you to artificially change your location and online identity, meaning you can use it to bypass geographic restrictions on the internet. It does so by changing your IP address, giving you access to parts of the internet you wouldn’t normally be able to reach. For many people, these possibilities to unblock online content are a huge reason to start using a VPN.

Want to learn more about VPNs, how they work, and what they can do? Our “VPN Explained” article will tell you all of this and more.

In Conclusion: the Best VPNs of 2022

We have tested dozens of popular VPN services and eventually arrived at our top 5 of the best VPN services of this moment. Which of these five is the best choice for you, depends on your personal needs and preferences. Even so, rest assured that, whichever one you choose, all five are as reliable and secure as can be.

Using a reliable VPN service will protect your online privacy and security. The VPN services in our overview are compatible with almost all devices and operating systems: Mac, Windows, Android, iOS (iPhone), and even Linux. This allows you to secure all your internet traffic with one account.

Here’s a short summary of our top 5 of the best VPNs of this moment:

POSITION AND VPNSCOREBest forWebsite VPN-provider
1. NordVPN9.3AllroundVisit the NordVPN website
2. Surfshark9.0Price-qualityVisit the Surfshark website
3. ExpressVPN8.9ConvenienceVisit the ExpressVPN website
4. CyberGhost8.8Extensive money-back guaranteeVisit the CyberGhost website
5. Private Internet Access8.6Number of serversVisit the PIA website
Best VPN Providers of 2021: Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question about the best VPN providers of this moment? Are you looking for a quick solution to a problem? Have a look at our FAQ down below and click a question to see the answer!

Free VPNs can be useful, but they aren’t the best services around. They’re often slow and come with limitations on your speed and data use. Some even sell your personal data or misuse your connection. Fortunately, even some of the best VPNs are very cheap these days. Therefore, we recommend you use a cheap VPN instead of a free one to get the best experience.

There are a couple of excellent VPN providers out there. Which is the best for you, depends on your wishes. NordVPN will prove to be the best choice for many due to its fast connections, large server network, Netflix support, and strong privacy options. Have a look at a top 5 VPN list to find out what each of the five best VPNs of 2022 has to offer and find out which VPN fits your needs.

The best free VPN of this moment is ProtonVPN Free. ProtonVPN is known for its high quality and secure connections, and its free version gives you access to three different server locations. The best part is that ProtonVPN Free allows you to use its service without any speed or data limits. The one downside is that the speed of your connection might still be affected, because many people tend to use the same ProtonVPN Free servers.

NordVPN currently is one of the best VPNs for streaming. Whether you want to watch Netflix, Hulu, Fox, or Kodi, NordVPN will make it work. With this VPN, you’ll be able to stream content you wouldn’t normally have access to. In addition, a NordVPN subscription won’t cost you all that much.

Protecting your online life shouldn’t be expensive. Surfshark is, without a doubt, the very best cheap VPN of 2022. It offers fast connections, gives access to many international versions of Netflix, and works with strong encryption methods to keep you safe. If you want to know which other cheap VPNs are out there, you can have a look at our top 3.

We recommend getting ExpressVPN for your iPhone or iPad. This VPN is the fastest one we’ve tested and it works especially well with Apple products. Apart from speed, it ranks high on security and other features too. You can read more about ExpressVPN in this extensive review.

The best VPN to use on Android phones like Samsung Galaxy, OnePlus, Google Pixel, and others, is Surfshark. This VPN is really cheap, offers servers with excellent speeds, and has a user-friendly app that’s easy to use. For more information about Surfshark, check out our detailed review.

NordVPN is a top choice for torrenting, because of the high speeds it offers combined with robust security features. It can help you quickly download torrent files while staying safe. Read our full NordVPN review for all the details.

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  1. CyberGhost is the best! I have used Cyberghost for 3 yeard and I have to say that it is a cheap, private, secure, and good VPN! It can unblock any streaming service. I have bought a dedicated IP by CyberGhost and it is very very GOOD. LOVE IT TO THE MOON AND BACK!

    • We’re glad to hear it! We’re big fans of CyberGhost, too 🙂

  2. What about the Norton VPN?

    • We are currently working on reviewing Norton Secure VPN. Check back for our full results in a few weeks.

  3. What about McAfee VPN

    • Usually these VPNs that are owned and operated by bigger cybersecurity companies leave something to be desired. We didn’t test McAfee’s software ourselves yet, but what we have read about it is that it doesn’t unlock a lot of geographically blocked content, it has to abide by certain US privacy regulations and therefore has to keep certain logs, speeds are inconsistent and the customer support is subpar.

  4. Thanks for the information, how do you rank TunnelBear and IPVanish? They’re highly ranked elsewhere, as I’ve been travelling before this lockdown situation and found them useful in few countries where few of the websites don’t work.

  5. Any reason why AirVPN is not on any list?

    • We have not yet had the chance to write a full review for AirVPN in English (but we do have one in our native tongue). Our main reasons for not having it in our Top 5, however, are because it doesn’t seem to work with Netflix and its interface is slightly complex for the average user.

  6. Personally, I use Surfshark and I found that it’s quite good at bypassing geo-blocks and it works fine for streaming. They don’t have a free trial to try it out, unfortunately, but the yearly subscriptions are usually pretty cheap.

  7. I agree with Paula. For example, I was searching for a VPN that works with Netflix but is not expensive, so NordVPN was the best option for me. It absolutely depends on the needs. But, I’ve also heard good reviews on ExpressVPN, but it’s just not for my pocket. I’m glad, that Nord fulfills my needs and I have no issues with using it.

  8. Thank you for the informative article. Our communications with the world seem private and select because we are usually solitary when sending and receiving messages. That doesn’t mean we are anonymous or impervious. I have now learned from this article the importance of having a VPN.

  9. A lot of people have a tendency to ask, “What is the absolute best VPN service?” The truth is that no VPN service is “the” best. There is only the best one for your specific needs.

    • That’s exactly right. This is why we submit all of the VPNs we test to thorough reviewing and score them separately on different aspects (safety, speed, usability, and so on). That way, you can always see which one would suit your tastes and needs best.

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